You know that one of the most valuable people in your contacts list (I would say “Rolodex” but, really, does anybody use one of those anymore?) is the shoe-repair person. If you find one who’s perfect for you — someone who understands your love affair with your shoes, can diagnose and fix any problem and won’t keep you separated from your favorites any longer than necessary — you are beyond lucky. I had an off-again on-again relationship with one in my former Alabama town. He was good, but he knew he had a monopoly on local shoe repair and so he wasn’t bothered in the least about keeping your good black leather boots “in the back” for more than a month or misplacing your beloved 3-inch red heels. Sigh. Happily, though, in my new Mississippi town, I’ve found the best shoe repair person ever. Ever. He’s quick. He’s thorough. And he understands. I was truly embarrassed a few weeks ago when for some reason I looked at the bottom of these blue flats — my spring go-to standard pair — and saw a hole. A hole! I’d been going around wearing shoes with a hole in them! I could feel my maternal grandmother (born in 1901, she was the last of the Victorians) gasping in her grave. But my new shoe-repair person didn’t seem at all shocked. He calmly took my shoes, gave me a receipt and told me to come back in a few days. I did, and he handed me a practically new pair, with these very cool soles I’d never seen before. They’re sort of like a secret — I bet I’m the only person I meet today walking around with shoes made from “United States Oak — super prime.”
You are right about the guy in Florence. Mom took her shoes there and a month later, he hadn’t touched them.
Yup, Mary. Glad I had a reason to seek out somebody else.